Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First Jumps of 2015!

canter on a loose rein
Courage and I have very religiously dressaged all winter. A good chunk of that is me being hella lazy and not wanting to drag jumps into the indoor, but we've been riding outside all February.

Anyways. The point of boarding at a dressage barn was to dressage and have Courage learn how to use his neck and back with the idea of it translating over to more effective jumping form.

I will admit to getting sidetracked from "HE IS A SHOWJUMPER" to "he is a jumper who also does dressage", but nothing has even remotely tempted me to think XC was a good idea again, so eventing is still off the table. I think it's staying off the table.

ANYWAYS. The point of my rambling is that Micaylah came to the barn with me on Sunday and played jump crew for our first "jumps" of the year.

We have trotted and cantered over poles a couple of times and Courage hasn't even tried to leap through raised cavaletti (OMG BIG CHANGE), so I thought he was ready to pop over something teeny a few times and see where we were at.

Bear in mind, last year he jumped pretty much every jump like it was 3'6", which made for epic pictures, but some dicey riding.

no. i cannot explain what i am doing here.
Also bear in mind that I have not jumped a jump since October sometime. I apologize right now for my position--it was a bit all over the place.

I was really thrilled with Courage. He hasn't even seen a proper jump in months, but he was totally happy to approach, jump, land, and depart in the same balance while maintaining a consistent rhythm. What else can I ask?

I wasn't sure how Courage would respond, but he was fabulous, even placing down after our (teeny) fence instead of leaping into the stratosphere. I was also really, really pumped that I was stone cold the whole time without a single case of nerves.

That, my friends, is called WINNING.

fun angle ftw
After that fun time, Redheadlins and Alyssa came out to jump crew and document, respectively. I had a pretty grand plan for the day--grids were our nemesis last year (oh god let's not go there), but Courage had been really, really steady through recent cavaletti sets and after watching him be unimpressed and place down after tiny fences...

Well. We had to try. 

Suffice to say, it was a total success.

And yeah, of course there's video!

hullo position
I still see things I want to work on in my riding (obviously...), but I'm really thrilled with my position and release over the oxer and the fact that I'm not interfering with Courage's head at all. That's a biggie for him, so it has to be a biggie for me. ;-)

More important is the part about Courage. Look at him. OMG GUYS HE'S USING HIS NECK. DO YOU SEE IT!!!

Yes. That means our "winter o' dressage" translates to a stunning success in initial trials. The whole goal was to change the way Courage used his body under saddle so that he could be a more correct jumper and...



Our last time down through the grid, I had redheadlins set a wee oxer for us just so I could feel like we actually jumped something. I felt a teeny twinge like "this is where I'm supposed to be nervous", but I just wasn't.

I mean. My horse is awesome. I was riding my pants off. It was so.much.fun.

We can do this, guys. :-D 


  1. Love the progress, love the videos, love the pictures.....LOVE LOVE LOVE! So happy for you :)

  2. Looks like a beautiful day and he looks so great!

    Dressaging has paid off :)

  3. So great! You guys look good!!! Really excited to see how the flat work has translated over fences, cool progress!

  4. Yowza! That was gorgeous video! You are doing all the right things for him--way to go!

  5. Teach a horse to release his neck? Sky's the limit. Great job guys! :)

  6. That's what the dressij is for! For making all the things better!

  7. I'm living vicariously through you right now. Should've moved to a place with an indoor. You guys look great and that bridle is really growing on me.

  8. You two are rocking it! Have you considered combined tests, or short course events, much of eventing without the Xc!

  9. The first thing I noticed was how much more he's jumping out instead of up. Such a grown up jumper pony now!

  10. Whoa, I didn't get to see the slow mo yesterday. SO MUCH AWESOME!

  11. Yay! I love seeing how papa has transformed

  12. He's jumping so well! Love the slow motion video :)

  13. Yay!! Excellent photos - what an amazing first jumping ride of the year!

  14. awesome work - he left the ground super well for that oxer!!

  15. Please stop being so hard on yourself. I also pick apart my position whenever I see photos of myself, but really, you both look fantastic. I'm so happy the dressaging helped the jumping -- that's how it's supposed to work! Go Courage!

  16. He'll make a fancy Hunter pony yet! :-D


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